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The Oddities in the News Page

What would you do if your Downtown literally stinks? Hold a music festival, of course!


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Notice the word "Stinkfest" is on a sewage drain in this poster:


A storm drain in this poster:

Stinkfest 2

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, held a summer music festival in celebration of a downtown that smells so bad

THE HATTIESBURG AMERICAN -- In recent years, Hattiesburg residents have found common ground through an uncommon smell, and on June 28, residents united once again at Hattiesburg Stink Fest — a day of music, arts and wastewater awareness.

Festival Director Michael Peerboom said years ago he was introduced to the smell of Hattiesburg’s lagoons, and over time, he learned more about the city’s problem.

“We didn’t know what the stink was years ago, but over time people tell you about it, then you start to learn all these things about it,” he said.

Peerboom, a local concert promoter, said he wants festivalgoers to not only enjoy a 12-hour block of great rock ’n’ roll music, but also leave the Hattiesburg Stink Fest with a better understanding of one of the city’s biggest issues.

“The festival is promoting awareness that we need clean air and clean water, and an up-to-par sewage lagoon,” Peerboom said.

When Hattiesburg Councilwoman Mary Dryden heard about the festival, she asked Peerboom if she could get involved with the event.

“She wanted to inform the public about the issues, and what’s really happening in the city,” Peerboom said.

Dryden, took the stage at 6 p.m., said she was excited to have the opportunity to connect with the public and update them about the City Council’s latest decisions regarding the city’s lagoons.

“What I hope I shared with them and gave them some history about how we got to this place and where we are in the process of our long-term solution,” she said. “This is an extremely large project. The problem is huge, and we need everybody’s support.”

Dryden said much of the city’s sewage and wastewater issues came into play in 2005.

“We’re still suffering from Hurricane Katrina,” she said. “It’s one of the biggest catastrophes that have hit the U.S., and we’re still dealing with the aftermath. Not having electricity for a period of time, things weren’t working at the lagoon and it started the whole problem. Then, when you add the yeast plant coming to town, nobody had any clue what problems that was going to cause.”

Dryden said hearing about the group of community-minded citizens’ festival was like a breath of fresh air.

“The thing that has always concerned me the most is apathy,” she said. “When people don’t know what’s going on or care, that’s what ruins communities. ... How wonderful that some of the young people in the community want to step up and get involved ... I think that using their sense of humor and love of music is wonderful.”

Peerboom said from 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, musical artists came from across the region to lend their talents to the event.

“All the bands were very excited about it,” he said. “They are seeing every day how fast it’s growing and how many people are willing to get involved … A lot of businesses sponsored the event and helped to pay for the stage, and the bands were all doing it for free.”

Peerboom said it has always been a priority to make the festival free to the public.

“We’re not trying to make money — we’re trying to raise awareness,” he said. “I also want to help bring money downtown to help out the businesses down there, and I want to shed some light on these musical acts that are playing this festival for free. … We plan on keeping awareness alive in the city for years to come. This is just the trial run.”

See the article HERE



Light Beam Rider

What is sewer gas?

What you’re smelling is sewer gas, which, in most cases, is a mixture of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and a little sulfur dioxide. You’re most likely getting a whiff of the sulfur compounds, which are among the most toxic of this fairly toxic group of gases.

Why could you smell it in a city?

Odors usually remain inside of the sewers, but when a pipe runs quite full and/or the sewer changes its elevation underground enough to stir up the wastewater, smells build up to the point where they can escape to the outside air. Odors can escape sewers through pick holes in maintenance hole covers, through vents, and other very small openings in the pipeline and connection points.

What about your home?

A home that is connected to the city sewage system can have odors coming from water traps in the tub drains, toilets or even the laundry tub.

Read more about your home HERE